What Banks Role is in a Probate
This is another question that we probably get ten times, maybe more on a monthly basis. That is because once somebody passes away, if you tell the bank in most cases that your relative, that your mother, father, husband, wife has passed away and they are the only person on the account, the banks will usually at that point freeze the account. And that is a good thing in most cases because you don't want an unscrupulous relative or third party to come in and try to access those bank funds or somebody, a scammer, to continue to take money out of that bank account. So usually what happens when somebody passes away and there's no joint tenant on there, the banks will usually freeze that bank account.
How do you get the money out of the bank account?
It depends on how the account was set up. If there is a pay on death designation for that particular bank, bank account, the banks and it depends on the particular bank will usually require a death certificate or some other proof of who you are and what your relationship is to the decedent and that you are actually the person listed as the pay on death designee. When that happens, once the bank is satisfied that you are the person, then they simply write a check to whoever that whether it's you or somebody else to that pay on death designee.
Another way to do it is much more expensive, and that is actually if you have to go through the probate process, to access that money. So usually what happens in a probate, once somebody is appointed as the personal representative by the judge, then that person gets what's called letters of administration and they can go to the bank and access the funds on behalf of the estate. So basically they have to usually withdraw the funds and then put them in what's called an estate bank account, a bank account that's set up specifically for the estate of your loved.
Small Estate Affidavit
There's also a third way, which is called a small estate affidavit. And this really depends on your jurisdiction on whether or not this can be utilized at your particular bank, depending on the state. It could be anything less than 20,000 or anything less than 50,000. Then the bank will have you fill out what's called a small estate affidavit, which lists all of the heirs to the estate and everybody will usually have to sign under oath a sworn statement that they are actually one of the heirs and that there are no other heirs except who's listed there. They'll usually require a death certificate and then the bank will usually pay out to whoever those heirs are. But again, a small estate affidavit is not able to be used in all cases. It depends on your bank, and it depends on your jurisdiction.
I know I've thrown a lot at you today, so that's why we've prepared our free guide on estate planning. I'll put a link to it in the description below and in the comment section below that so that you can download it and get started in the right direction and to help you out even more. Watch this video up here and this video up here. If you enjoyed this video, then guys. Please smash that subscribe button and click on the like button and also click on that little bell so you'll get notified every time we post a new video. Have a great day and an awesome week. And as always, thanks for watching.
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Cortes Law Firm
5801 Broadway Extension Hwy Suite 110
Oklahoma City, OK, 73118